Events‎ > ‎


3x your impact!

posted Mar 12, 2018, 11:59 AM by Joe Christy

Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first purchase - through March 31! Go to and Amazon donates 1.5% to Bonny Doon Fire Safe Council Inc.

Free Chipping Program Registration Open

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:44 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 4:04 PM ]

Registration for our FREE (as in beer) Spring Chipping Program is now open!

o Prepare for the Summer Wildfire Season
o Help Firefighters Protect Your Home
o Keep Your Property Fully Insurable
o Clear a Safe Space Around Your Home 
o Make Sure Firefighters - and You - Can Get In and Out Safely Along Your Road

…by taking part in the BDFSC's Spring Program of
What Is It? We are hiring bonded professionals to chip freshly cut brush and tree 
limbs only (it's actually better to burn the older stuff yourself).

When is it? Mid-March through mid-April.

What else do I need to know? If you are clearing already, stack 
the piles of woody brush and tree limbs under 6" in diameter next to a maintained road
with the cut ends facing the road.  For more information, check out our Chipping Do's and Don'ts.

To take part, you must register online by March 15. Chipping will take place in early April.

Backyard Burn Workshop Handout Posted

posted Feb 25, 2018, 3:35 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Feb 25, 2018, 3:47 PM ]

We've posted the information from our January Backyard Burn Workshop, with photos. Check it out!
Dooners burning for knowledge

Annual Meeting December 13

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:12 PM by Joe Christy

Our December annual meeting will feature guest speaker Jake Hess, CAL FIRE Deputy Chief Operations, San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit. Deputy Chief Hess and Battalion Chief Aldo Gonzalez were the Incident Commanders for the October 16-27 Bear Fire outside Boulder Creek.  His presentation will be on Bear Fire Lessons Learned. Chief Hess tells us:
… [H]ere some of the items that will inevitably come up at the talk:
This fire was terrain and fuel driven with little to no wind. This fire had significant potential and we ordered our additional resources accordingly. We entered into unified Command with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department and issued evacuation orders. This fire had potential need to order a Type I incident command team, however we did not as we were able to handle the fires operationally and utilized a Marin County Type III team for Logistical support. The County EOC was activated and staffed with multiple agencies throughout the entire incident. Access and egress were an issue for responders as well as tight narrow unimproved roads and driveways. The air assets that we ordered played a significant role in the success of this incident due to inaccessible terrain. There were multiple injuries on this fire as well as an injury to a fire fighter classified as “significant”. Shelters were opened and identified for civilians in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
Please join us Wednesday evening, December 13, 7-8:30pm at the Bonny Doon Elementary School Multipurpose Room.

January Backyard Burn Workshop

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:08 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Dec 18, 2017, 10:03 AM ]

Since the CAL FIRE complete Burn Ban in Santa Cruz County was lifted on November 20, and the Monterey Bay Air Resource District’s Backyard Burn Period begins December 1, we will have a Backyard Burn Workshop, Saturday, January 13, 10am-Noon at 150 McGivern Way, Bonny Doon. We will discuss the newest MBARD Backyard Burn permits & regulations (which, for our area, are now more relaxed than in the past), Safety, and Smoke Control. Most importantly, we will demonstrate current best practices for pile burning, learned from our experiences burning over 300 piles in fuel breaks in the 6 years since our first Workshop.

Thanks to Everyone Who Supported our 2107 Chipping Program

posted Dec 1, 2017, 2:04 PM by Joe Christy

In the past month, we finished our 2017 Chipping Program, later than we had planned, but in slightly less contractor time than we had anticipated. While we were pleased by being able to work on about 75 properties and to learn a lot about how better to run a chipping program, the greatest reward was the financial support from more than a dozen neighbors who contributed since of November appeal, which has left us with seed funds for a day and half toward our 2018 Chipping Program next spring. Please join them this December with a tax-deductible donation to help keep our community safe.

Chipping Program Begins

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:10 PM by Joe Christy

After several false starts and much tuning of the program parameters, our 2017 chipping program has finally begun as write this. The response has been enthusiastic beyond our most optimistic expectations - nearly 75 households have signed up and been qualified. We’ve started in Pineridge and our plan, in the broadest strokes, is to proceed north up Empire Grade, visiting adjacent neighborhoods on the way, then return south and then southwest down Pine Flat. Despite equipment failures, we have spent nearly 4 full days chipping with another 4 days to come. Please note that applications for this year are emphatically closed, and if you’ve been accepted but haven’t yet been visited please resist the temptation to add to your pile(s). We estimate that our funding will allow us to complete all chipping, barely, and you should recall that the agreement that you signed does not guarantee that we will chip your pile(s) if we do run out of funding before we can finish.
As I was checking piles before we began, two sobering facts were driven home.

Fire Season Is Most Definitely Not Over

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:09 PM by Joe Christy   [ updated Oct 29, 2017, 6:14 PM ]

Even though we had ¼” of rain the night of October 19-20, it immediately started to warm up, the winds returned and the humidity dropped precipitously. Moreover, due to critical weather conditions and fire activity, all Bay Area CAL FIRE Units, including the San Mateo‐Santa Cruz Unit, implemented a burn suspension banning all outdoor burning as of October 13, 2017. Nonetheless, one of our neighbors decided to get a jump on burning their brush first thing on the morning of October 21 and the fire quickly got away from them, sending spotter planes over the property I was visiting and engines down Empire Grade immediately behind me. The fire was quickly contained, but not before scaring most of us. Then another fire closed northbound highway 1 at the edge of town, even before the spotter planes could turn toward their base. That larger fire, which took the rest of the day to control, was again caused by human activity. It will take at least two days of soaking rain before there is any consideration of lifting the burn ban and considering declaring the end of fire season.

The Dangerous State of Our Shared Roads

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:06 PM by Joe Christy

As I visited neighborhoods off the County roads, I was depressed to see how narrow and overgrown their access roads are. If fire visits those neighborhoods, virtually none of which have more than one way in and out, people are going to have to evacuate down a tunnel of flames and fire engines will be turned back by the threat to firefighters’ lives before they can reach and protect those evacuated homes. Just that did happen last year in Lake and Sonoma Counties, and again this year around Santa Rosa and across the San Lorenzo Valley from us. For all our sakes, please work with your neighbors to ensure that there is proper clearance along our shared roads, 10’ on either side by the State Fire Code. We are all in this together.

If You Like Our Chipping Program, Please Give

posted Oct 29, 2017, 6:04 PM by Joe Christy

The majority of the funding for our 2017 chipping program comes from individual donations. Every $1,100 that we collect will buy another day of chipping. We will certainly apply for grant funding for more chipping next year, but the suppression costs of this year’s wildfire season are already far greater than ever before, while both suppression and prevention budgets are being cut. BDFSC is an all-volunteer organization with no overhead beyond liability insurance. Please give to make Bonny Doon fire safe and urge your elected officials to increase both wildfire prevention and suppression funding.

1-10 of 125